I choke on hurt, anger rising. Tears burn and I bite my own teeth, push it all down.
And I ruminate, imagining. What would it be like to walk away? To do life alone?
It’s too hard, Lord. It’s too hard to make it work. Two broken people, bent on hurting one another. Two of us that get to these places where we pass like ships in the night and our bitterness seeps through our skin and eyes and tongues into words and looks and thoughts that rip away at all that we have tried to build up, together. We are both exhausted of this work and I wonder if this ministry costs us our marriage, if it will have been worth it.
There are days that I can’t remember why we do this.
(And maybe I shouldn’t put that out here… it’s my personal matter to attend to, but its reality, and what am I doing here unless its being real with all of you, exposing my heart that you might find yourself there, that we might heal and grow, together, friend?)
He and I choose to stop the words… no good can come of this. But I have so much I want to say. I have so many hurts to spill and expose and assign blame for, and when my mouth is shut, the injured feeling creeps up within me, surging steel cold through me, mind to heart to hands and feet and I will myself to stay put, to lift up desperate prayers and trust in a goodness that is bigger than me.
“Stop all this. You are MY bride,” The Jesus-whisper pursues and slows the heat.
“Live accordingly. Love accordingly.”
I don’t always know how. But I fill with Him and I breathe out the hurt and breathe in the hope and fall asleep spent. And in the morning we sit side-by-side, the members of this imperfect marriage, and sip coffee and talk low about this and that and he sees through my quiet and leans in to kiss my cheek. This is what forgiveness looks like, here and now. My hurt has not left, not completely, but I take the gesture for what it is meant to be and hold on tight. I know that this, this quiet forgiveness and listening to the tender whisper of His words… this is the goodness I am seeking. This is the mark of a happy marriage and not, as I wish it to be, a life void of struggle.
I choose, today, to thank Him for the wilderness, for hurt and for forgiveness, for cheek-kisses on hard days, for loving an imperfect bride and helping me love accordingly.